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Does wearing tight bras promote breast cancer? This is a myth. © Friso Gentsch / dpa

There are many myths and theories about cancer. But only a few of them are true. The most common rumors in the “news check”.

Kassel – When it comes to illness, many people prefer the Internet to a doctor’s visit. Search engines provide thousands of hits, only a few provide valid information and none can replace a professional medical opinion. The line between nonsense and reality is often blurred, and crazy rumors and theories abound. Same with cancer.

Symptoms of cancer are not always obvious. According to their online research, those affected are usually more insecure than before. To enable you to distinguish between insanity and information in the future, the information service of the German Cancer Research Center has examined and discredited the most common myths related to cancer. All you need to know about the disease at a glance.

Cancer Myth: Miscarriage: Does Abortion Increase Breast Cancer Risk?

Breast cancer is one of those The most common cancers in women. There is a rumor on the Internet that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. The basis for this assumption was allegedly scientifically based studies from the USA. However, the thesis that abortion leads to a higher risk of breast cancer was not supported by the data presented. It is even questionable whether breast cancer and miscarriage are linked in any way.

But how did this myth arise in the first place? In the United States, the debate over abortions rages again and again. The German Cancer Research Center believes that it is possible that anti-abortion activists wanted to use the study for their own purposes and started the rumors to support the abortion protests.

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Cancer myth: Should women avoid bras?

In addition to miscarriage, wearing bras that are too tight are often claimed to increase the risk of breast cancer. The reason for this is said to be the shutdown of the lymphatic system, which would prevent the washing out of metabolic waste products. However, there is no scientific source or study on the legend.

Avoid breast cancer

In order to prevent breast cancer, the Working Group on Gynecologic Oncology recommends adequate exercise, about 3 to 5 hours of brisk walking per week. Avoiding alcohol and smoking also helps. Hormone replacement therapy should be avoided. In addition, a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber and little fat and meat is essential.

Experts hypothesize that women with a genetic risk of developing breast cancer can also reduce their overall personal risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

So experts agree: Wearing a bra does not affect the risk of breast cancer, regardless of whether it is too tight or fits well, with or without underwire. Study by the American Journal of Cancer Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention Confirm that there is no connection.

The Cancer Diet Myth: Certain foods cause cancer

Nutrition is more important in the world than ever before. In addition to recommendations for losing weight or building muscle, there is also a long blacklist of foods that are said to increase the risk of cancer. One thing should be clear: There is no such thing as a cancer diet. Instead, there is general malnutrition. They include, among others:

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  • High alcohol consumption
  • Lots of red meat
  • Lots of processed meat
  • Little vegetables
  • little fruit

According to the Helmholtz Association’s Cancer Information Service, it usually has nothing to do with the ingredients in the food. Instead, the focus will be on “excessive, greasy, and overly sweet.” However, discussion about contaminants that can enter food through industrial processes remains important. Although consumers can never be completely sure, food quality in Germany is very high and is monitored by nationwide food control.

In principle, the German Cancer Research Center recommends that you never allow yourself to be pressured by well-meaning but unjustified diet warnings. Illness can be a reason to reconsider your diet, but it is not recommended to exhaust yourself – especially if your appetite is already suffering from illness or treatment. Cancer initiative Decade Against Cancer has developed a nine-point plan for healthy eating, To help fight cancer.

Cancer prevention myth: Do birth control pills and sterilization cause cancer?

Birth control pills have a strong effect on a woman’s hormonal balance. It comes with a long list of side effects. But is this also associated with an increased risk of cancer? The answer is double-edged. According to the German Cancer Society, taking birth control pills slightly increases the risk of developing breast cancer, but not the risk of dying from breast cancer. On the other hand, birth control pills will significantly reduce the risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer. Stiftung Warentest has examined and tested various contraceptive methods – including the pill: light Half of all products are recommended.

Sterilization has long been suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. For women, it’s clear: the link between cutting the fallopian tubes and cancer has not yet been proven. For men, on the other hand, it’s more complicated. While having the fallopian tubes does not increase the likelihood of testicular cancer, there are studies that suggest a possible risk of developing prostate cancer. According to the German Cancer Research Center, the majority of doctors and experts are of the opinion that a vasectomy is safe.

The Cosmetic Cancer Myth: Are cosmetics and deodorants a carcinogen?

Beauty products have been the subject of criticism for some time. consumer centers such as Öko-Test always finds carcinogens in toiletries. But are the pollutants present in sufficient quantities to be considered a risk factor? Supposedly dangerous ingredients are often called parabens, which are used as preservatives. There is a rumor that substances can be deposited in adipose tissue. This can cause breast cancer in women.

Obviously, a chemical group can have a hormone-like effect. However, this has so far only been proven through animal experiments and only with very high doses of parabens. Whether preservatives increase the risk of breast cancer in humans is not yet fully clear. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) assumes that parabens cannot be easily substituted in all beauty products. Substitute products will greatly increase the risk of allergic reactions for consumers. Without preservatives, protection from dangerous germs and pathogens is no longer guaranteed in many care products. (aa)


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